Rada was among the experts in 15 countries who started implementing the pioneering Step by Step Program funded by the Open Society Foundation back in the 90s in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Her organization, Center for Educational Initiative, Step by Step from Bosnia and Herzegovina, is one of the 27 founding organizations of ISSA. Since 1999, when ISSA was established, throughout the years, she acted as an ISSA Board Member, President of the Board of Directors, and member of ISSA’s Program Committee. In 2012, CEI Step by Step joined NEPC, ‘I realized that the philosophy of NEPC and the way they work was so much in line with my own values and the values of my organization’ (NEPC@10, 2016), this is how Rada described her first meetings with NEPC. She chaired two NEPC Summer schools (in 2012 and 2017), contributed to numerous NEPC conferences, learning events and policy analysis. She also acted as NEPC board member from 2016 to 2019. She participated in almost all ISSA and NEPC working groups and events, where she generously shared her expertise and experience and always contributed with her sharp mind and critical thinking. She believed in the beauty of life and of people, in the joy of being together and building beautiful memories together. Her laughter and her beautiful voice always made meetings and conferences special.
With her strong belief in teachers’ professionalism and her high respect for this profession, Rada created a unique event that should be replicated in all countries: an annual award for the best teachers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from preschool to secondary education levels. A national celebration where practitioners are the most important protagonists, and they drive the change. Rada's way saying: “It changes the way we talk about education instead of criticizing or focusing on the negative we show the country what excellent teachers we have.”
Furthermore, over the past 10 years, every summer she organized an annual regional conference bringing together teachers from all countries of former Yugoslavia into a powerful learning and forward-looking community of professionals. She was the ‘’glue’’, as an expert and as a person with a big heart, cementing relationships, beliefs, and ambitions in her country and beyond. In a region and a country still recovering from devastating conflicts, where so many are trying to divide people and build walls to separate children, she managed to create unity among professionals and a solid ground for life-long professional and personal connections.
A strong and warm expert and advocate, an engine for forward-looking changes. A wonderful human being who left behind a powerful and long-lasting legacy, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more widely in the ISSA and NEPC networks. One of the big souls of our network. She gave a lot of love to all of us and we will love and keep her always in our hearts and minds.
For those who knew her, she will remain irreplaceable for her inexhaustible energy, dedication, generosity, vision, and power to bring and mobilize minds and souls around strong values celebrating the art of education, the art of learning and teaching, the art of human connections. Those who did not know her, have missed being touched by Rada’s unique way of filling every space with daring ideas, of fighting for the freedom of thought, of growing and celebrating professionalism, of believing in solidarity, in true friendship beyond any border.
In Memoriam: https://www.issa.nl/content/memoriam-radmila-rangelov-jusovic-our-rada?
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